More fantastic leopards man-eating near threatened species Sigmund and Freud Secret Garden Las Vegas
 
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Added: 24-03-2009
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Man-eating (yet near threatened species) Despite being predators of man's hominid ancestors, most leopards avoid humans. Still, people are occasionally targeted as prey. Most healthy leopards prefer wild prey to humans, but injured, sickly or struggling cats with a shortage of regular prey often turn to hunting people and may become habituated to it. In extreme cases, both in India: a leopard dubbed "the Leopard of Rudraprayag" may have killed over 125 people; "Panar Leopard" killed over 400 after injury by a poacher making it unable to hunt normal prey. The "Leopard of Rudraprayag" and the "Panar Leopard" were killed by hunter Jim Corbett. Man-eating leopards are considered bold by feline standards and commonly enter human settlements for prey, more so than lions and tigers. Kenneth Anderson, who had first hand experience with many man-eating leopards, described them as far more threatening than tigers: Although examples of such animals are comparatively rare, when they do occur they depict the panther [leopard] as an engine of destruction quite equal to his far larger cousin, the tiger. Because of his smaller size he can conceal himself in places impossible to a tiger, his need for water is far less, and in veritable demoniac cunning and daring, coupled with the uncanny sense of self preservation and stealthy disappearance when danger threatens, he has no equal...Because they can subsist on small prey and are less dependent on large prey, leopards are less likely to turn to man-eating than either lions or tigers. However, leopards might be attracted to human settlements by livestock or pets, especially dogs, and they may resort to the eating of humans should conditions demand it, and no other food is available.Diet and huntingLeopards are opportunistic hunters. Although mid-sized animals are preferred, the leopard will eat anything from dung beetles to 900 kg (1,984 lb) male giant elands.[15] Their diet consists mostly of ungulates and monkeys, but rodents, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish are also eaten.[25] In Africa, mid-sized antelopes provide a majority of the leopard's prey, especially impala and Thomson's gazelles.[26] In Asia the leopard preys on deer such as chitals and muntjacs as well as various Asian antelopes and Ibex. Prey preference estimates in southern India showed that the most favoured prey of the leopard was the chital[27]. A study at the Wolong Reserve in China revealed how adaptable the leopard's hunting behaviour is: over the course of seven years the vegetative cover receded, and the animals opportunistically shifted from primarily consuming tufted deer to instead pursuing bamboo rats and other smaller prey.The leopard stalks its prey silently and at the last minute pounces on its prey and strangles its throat with a quick bite. Leopards often hide their kills in dense vegetation or take them up trees,[26] and are capable of carrying animals up to three times their own weight this way. One survey of nearly 30 research papers found preferred prey weights of 10 to 40 kg (22-88 lb), with 25 kg (55 lb) most preferred. Along with impala and chital, a preference for bushbuck and common duiker was found. Other prey selection factors include a preference for prey in small herds, in dense habitat, and those that afford the predator a low risk of injury.Distribution and habitatData from 1996 found that the (near threatened) leopard has the largest distribution of any wild cat,[15] occurring most in certain parts of southern Asia and widely in eastern and central Africa,[38] although populations before and since have shown a declining trend and are fragmented outside of subsaharan Africa. The IUCN notes that within sub-Saharan Africa the species is "still numerous and even thriving in marginal habitats" where other large cats have disappeared, but that populations in North Africa may be extinct. In Asia, data on distribution is not consistent: populations in Southwest and Central Asia are small and fragmented; in the northeast portion of the range, they are critically endangered; but in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China, the leopard is still relatively abundant.[2]Leopards live mainly in grasslands, woodlands and riverside forests. The animal has primarily been studied in open savannah habitats, which may have biased common descriptions. It is generally considered nocturnal, for instance, but radio-tracking and scat analysis in West Africa has found that rainforest leopards are more likely to be diurnal and crepuscular. Forest leopards are also more specialized in prey selection and exhibit seasonal differences in activity patterns.[39] While associated with the savanna and rainforest, the leopard is exceptionally adaptable: in the Russian Far East, the animal inhabits temperate forests where winter temperatures reach a low of 25 °C.More fantastic leopards Sigmund and Freud Secret Garden Las Vegas
Channels: Animals + Nature 
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